US plans IAEA resolution to seek concessions from Iran at Vienna talks

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says the United States was behind the recent anti-Tehran resolution, which was passed by the Board of Governors of the International Energy Agency (IAEA), in order to increase the pressure on Iran during the talks in Vienna.

Iran’s top diplomat made the remarks during a phone call Thursday with his Iraqi counterpart, Fuad Hussein, during which the two sides also discussed bilateral issues as well as regional developments.

Negotiations have been held in the Austrian capital since April last year to reinstate the 2015 Iran deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was scrapped by former US President Donald Trump in May 2018.

By quitting the deal, Trump launched what he called the “maximum pressure” campaign to bring Iran to its knees. Tehran argues that the policy has failed miserably. The Joe Biden administration agrees, but it has taken no tangible action to fulfill its promise to repeal the policy.

In recent months, Iran has cited Washington’s indecisiveness as the reason for extending the talks, as a number of key issues remain unresolved, ranging from the removal of all post-JCPOA sanctions to the provision of guarantees by the US side that it will not quit the case again.

“As the exchange of messages through the representative of the European Union continued between the United States and Iran, the White House suddenly had the idea of ​​adopting a resolution at the ‘International Atomic Energy Agency,’ Amir-Abdollahian said.

The Iranian Foreign Minister added: “The objective that the United States had in mind in proposing it was to obtain political concessions. [from Iran] at the negotiating table [in Vienna].”

Amir-Abdollahian said that Iran has constantly called on the West to take the path of diplomacy and even days before the recent IAEA meeting, Tehran presented a political initiative for the continuation of the Vienna talks until until a final agreement is reached.

“However, in the face of the United States’ non-constructive behavior at the IAEA, the reciprocal action we took to revive Iran’s peaceful nuclear activity was within the framework of the law passed by the [Iranian] parliament,” the Iranian foreign minister said.

The law, which was passed by Iran’s parliament in December 2020 following the assassination of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, tasks the government with restricting IAEA inspections and accelerating the development of the nuclear program of the country beyond the limits set by the JCPOA.

The law officially known as the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions was passed to strengthen Iran’s countermeasures in the face of non-engagement by the United States and its European allies – the United Kingdom , France and Germany. to the nuclear deal.

“We see diplomacy as the best path to achieving a good, solid and lasting agreement. However, in the face of bullying behavior [of the US]our reaction is powerful,” concluded Amir-Abdollahian.